In the Torzhok district, new varieties of flax will be developed and new equipment for its processing will be produced

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It is not in vain that the rural holiday “Day of the Linen Field” is held in the Tver Region. Our region is traditionally – and this tradition is more than one century – listed in the list of those where this culture has been practiced for a long time and fruitfully.

Covid protection

This year, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, Rosagroleasing, financiers, experts, as well as industry professionals from 20 regions of the country interested in the development of flax growing, companies engaged in the cultivation and processing of flax, gathered on August 7 near the village of Pirogovo, Torzhok District.

August presented a wonderful sunny day, which helped the guests and participants of the holiday in all its glory to view the exposition of flax harvesting and processing equipment, as well as samples of products made from “northern silk”, breathe in the smells of field herbs, watch a concert, taste buckwheat porridge from the Ministry of Emergencies, and talk to open air setting on current production topics.

It is interesting that linen, which really has a silvery hue during a certain period of growth, served as a raw material not only for folk, designer and casual clothes, but also proved its usefulness during a pandemic. From this material, the specialists of the Kashinsky Flax Mill, together with the eco-laboratory of the Kosygin Russian State University, have developed an innovative medical overalls. The fabric from which it was sewn has hygienic properties, which is important for doctors who have to spend a long time in a suit, and at the same time creates a protective barrier against pathogenic microbes. It is suitable for the manufacture of disposable medical and cosmetic products – gowns, shirts, sheets. The material can be used within 24 hours, then it must be disposed of.

Photo: Christina Belyakova

– Compared to imported and domestic analogs made of synthetic materials, ours consists of natural raw materials. The inner layer is medical linen, the outer layer is a breathable membrane. The product is currently being tested for safety, permeability, and protective functions. By the end of this year, we plan to obtain a registration certificate, – said Mikhail Golovlev, general director of the Kashin flax mill.

A matter of technology

In the exposition of agricultural machinery, it seemed that Tver region and brotherly Belarus competed with each other in the richness of the assortment. But such competition only benefits the development of the industry, and I would like to believe that no momentary winds of change can destroy cordial relations with our western neighbor.

The participants of the Day of the Flax Field were greeted by the Governor Igor Rudenya.

“For more than a century and a half,“ northern silk ”has been one of the main agricultural crops in the Upper Volga region. Today our region remains the industry leader in the Central Federal District in terms of the area under fiber flax crops. We plan, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, to secure the status of a pilot territory for the Tver region in the implementation of an all-Russian project for the development of flax growing, ”the address on behalf of the head of the Upper Volga region says.

We are talking about the creation in the Torzhok region of a federal experimental site for testing a new model of a regional flax cluster. It will include an experimental farm, a flax agro-industrial park, including the production of specialized flax machinery. A new technology has already been developed in Torzhok, which makes it possible to use cheap short flax fiber and waste for the production of high-quality fabrics. The new site will become an organic addition to the systemic measures to support the industry at the federal and regional levels.

– Many flax growers cannot afford the equipment, which requires large investments. The creation of such a station will help support flax growers. Including in the current repair, seasonal storage of equipment. For our part, we are ready to provide agrotechnological control, – commented Pavel Petrushin, director of Pasechnik LLC.

Photo: Christina Belyakova

People says

– The Tver region has historically been the center of innovations in flax production. A research institute operates in Torzhok, where the foundations of seed production, flax selection, and the development of new varieties are laid. The Tver region is one of the leaders in the cultivation of fiber flax, – said Viktor Ivanov, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Interregional Fund for Support and Development of the Linen Industry “Linen Union”.

“If there are complaints from flax growers, I’m ready to consider them, but so far there have been no reports,” Anton Stumplevsky, the Tver business ombudsman, shared his observations. – The industry has development prospects. Much has changed in terms of her support. It seems to me that agro-startups should be a priority. Affordable lending and affordable leasing make it possible to count on a reversal of the negative trend towards a reduction in the number of entrepreneurs in the countryside.

A farmer from the Kalininsky district, Denis Murmetchin, believes that a crop such as flax has endless prospects.

– Flax is needed for agriculture, the defense industry, construction, for the manufacture of high-quality comfortable clothing. Flax and our region have a great future – we just need to revive and develop the old traditions.

Take us, robot, on a tractor!

Note that high technologies have made their way into this area as well. The domestic company “Cognitive Pilot” for the first time presented at the Day of the Flax Field a system of unmanned driving for agricultural machinery – combines, tractors, sprayers. A box the size of one and a half bricks, stuffed with smart filling based on neural networks, allows the operator to entrust the control of the equipment to an assistant robot, and he himself can focus on controlling other parameters of the harvesting process. The robot will make sure that the harvester does not go off course – the video camera will distinguish the color of the stubble from the color of the uncompressed stalks. Tests on 300 agricultural machines allow inventors to talk about an increase in the overall productivity of combines by 30%, a two-fold decrease in crop losses and the payback of a smart device in a year and a half.

Concluding our story, here are a few figures. Within the framework of the regional program for the modernization of the flax complex, calculated until 2024, it is planned to renew the machine and tractor fleet and equipment in the flax-growing farms of the region. The modernization will affect 6 plants for the primary processing of flax. There are plans to build 2 new processing plants and a selection center for the production of flax seeds, then

there will be a closed cycle production – from the field to deep processing of fiber and production. The amount of funding for the program is over 5 billion rubles.

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